One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we marked the end of the “war to end all wars.” That day, which was to be observed annually on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, became known as Armistice Day and then, later on, became Veterans Day.
But Veterans Day is not for veterans. They don’t serve for thanks or recognition. Veterans Day sets aside a day for those of us who haven’t worn the uniform to acknowledge those who have.
So today, we honor and remember.
If you ask a military family, ANY military family, how you can help them, they will respond without hesitation, “Make sure my service member is taken care of.”
If you ask a service member, ANY service member, how you can best honor them, they will respond without hesitation, “Take care of my family.”
Don’t know anyone who has served or is serving? More than likely, there are veterans in your midst. Each year, 260,000 military personnel relocate to new communities, and another 230,000 transition out of the military. In total, there are 22 million veterans among us in the world.
For those who relocate through a Permanent Change of Station (or PCS), it can be a pretty stressful time. There isn’t a lot of time to find a new place to live and the timeline is more accelerated for finding a place to call home.
MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing.
According to MILLIE, “70% of active duty families live off the installation and in the surrounding communities.” Wondering what you can do to help make a recently PCSed family feel welcome?
A recent survey of military families revealed that,
“When respondents described the support they most appreciate, family, friends, and faith-based communities rose to the top. When they described the support they needed, they called for more networking, communication, and support groups.
Families said that when leaving service, they feel as though they do not fit into the civilian world. Forging partnerships between military and civilian support systems will encourage pathways of understanding.”
If you find out that your new neighbor may have been PCSed, make an effort to share what you know about your community, from the best pizza place to where you can get your oil changed.
If you know that the service member of the family is actively deployed, helping out with tasks like mowing the lawn or bringing over a home-cooked meal are small gestures that will go a long way towards welcoming this family into their new home.
Today, we honor and remember those who have served for our country. Everyone always asks what they can do to help, sometimes the simplest answer is the best one.